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Free gun locks are available to Pima County residents

The Pima County Health Department is offering free gun locks to residents.

Mark Person manages the county’s Community Mental Health and Addiction program. He said the hope is that by securing more of the community’s firearms, there will be fewer gun-related injuries and deaths.

"The gun locks are by no means meant to be a cure," he said. "This is one small tool that we have available to us. If you compare it to, let's say seatbelts, the more people that wear seat belts — we know that's not going to fix all injuries and deaths, but it definitely helps. It's the same situation with trigger locks, but not everybody uses them." 

Person said the locks were available before, but the county is ramping up distribution based on new data.

“In our jurisdiction, we’ve seen a notable increase in the total number of firearm-related injuries and deaths from one year to the next," he said. "The biggest increase occurred in late 2020 and then throughout 2021.”

The locks are available at the county’s five outpatient clinics or by calling the Pima County Attorney's Office.

Senior field correspondent Bridget Dowd has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.